In your Chinchilla cage make sure you put a flying saucer exercise wheel or another type of Chinchilla wheel in order for your pet Chinchilla to be able to exercise inside the cage.
Chinchilla Exercise Wheel
No matter what cage size your Chinchilla is housed in, you must put in some cage accessories in order for your pet Chinchilla to have something to do. Imagine how boring it would be if your Chinchilla’s cage was empty, it would be like being in a prison!
Not only that but for the sake of your Chinchilla’s health it must have the ability to exercise just as we humans need to exercise. Your Chinchilla will get much needed aerobic exercise and its fitness will be dramatically enhanced.
Even the large Chinchilla cages are not so big and tall that they can go without having exercise equipment for your pet Chinchilla.
Your Chinchilla is a shy rodent and can withdraw himself and get lonely and depressed as we would ourselves living in a cage without stimulation. Many Chinchilla owners tell us that they see a marked increase in the Chinchillas mental health once they have bought a wheel.
They see him running around the cage in a much happier state of mind and the Chinchilla just does not want to get off the wheel except for food, water and to urinate, sometimes it doesn’t even get off for this! We know this as humans – because exercise releases chemicals inside the brain that make us feel better – Chinchillas are no different in this respect!
What is a Chinchilla Wheel?
A Chinchilla wheel enables your Chinchilla to run to its heart’s content as it will run on the spot and the wheel will turn around. It means without using hardly any space inside the Chinchillas cages you can have your Chinchilla running miles and miles if it wants to.
The wheel is very much like a treadmill that spins and turns while the Chinchilla stays in the same position, as it runs and moves its legs the wheel turns on its axle or axis.
Of course you should still on a regular basis allow your pet outside the cage to get the stimulation of really actually running, jumping and climbing, just be sure to let your Chinchilla out in an enclosed room that has been made Chinchilla safety proofed so no danger or harm can occur to your Chinchilla.
An exercise wheel keeps your Chinchilla healthy and happy. Choose Chinchilla wheels with a solid surface wheel that is going to be durable and long-lasting because Chinchillas can easily hurt their feet or legs on the wire wheels and the plastic ones wear out in no time.
Ensure any Chinchilla wheel is at least 15” or greater in size so that your pet Chinchilla does not have to force himself to arch his back while running as this can cause injury and health problems in the long-term.
Some owners choose other toys and gadgets that allow your Chinchilla to exercise inside the cage such as a Chinchilla exercise ball. We personally don’t like the exercise balls as much as exercise wheels because with a ball they bash the sides of the cage, this cannot be pleasant for your pet.
Make sure whatever type of exercise wheel you buy or purchase that it has a smooth surface with no gaps, people used to own wheels made of wire mesh and thankfully these are much less common these days. Why buy a wire exercise wheel when you can buy a solid metal wheel such as a flying saucer?
Chinchilla Flying Saucer Wheel
The Flying Saucer exercise wheel is a popular wheel that is different to the other round and upright wheels in that the flying saucer is a flat wheel on which your Chinchilla can step on or off, it is similar really to a children’s roundabout that you would find in a play area.
Chinchilla flying saucers are great because they are solid with no holes in which he can catch his legs or tail. The only possible downside of a saucer is that they take up more space than other types of wheels inside the cage. Also some Chinchillas take time to get used to the saucer wheel.
Reviews and Other Types of Chinchilla Wheels
As well as the flying saucer wheel there are other types of Chinchilla wheel.
These include the Giant Comfort Wheel, the Chin Spin exercise wheel, Home Made Wheel, Ed Wheel, 12″ Leo Braun exercise wheel and Silver Surfer wheel.
The Giant Comfort Wheel is made and sold by Superpet and this product is advertised specifically for chinchillas, however note that the diameter is 12 inches which in our opinion is fine for small Chinchillas but not adult ones.
It will of course operate and function but it does make sense to buy an upright exercise wheel that will always be wide enough no matter how much your Chinchilla grows. The last thing you want is to have to buy another Chinchilla wheel making your previous one redundant.
The Ed Wheel is a flat wheel made of wood which spins around. The diameter is 14 inches which is just about acceptable in our opinion as the ideal size.
The Silver Surfer wheel is a popular product because it is made out of metal which is ideal because it will get chewed, it has a good diameter and it is sturdy and will last and also looks quite good as well.
The Chin Spin exercise wheel is produced by Quality Cage and is certainly a product we would recommend to pet chinchilla owners. It is a hard wearing wheel and a 15 inches in diameter is just absolutely perfect size.
Make sure your exercise wheel is designed with Chinchillas in mind. Some owners buy hamster exercise wheels, rat exercise wheels, degus exercise wheels, ferret exercise wheels, sugar glider exercise wheels and even rabbit exercise wheels but many of these wheels will be too small as your Chinchilla is generally larger than these other animals and rodents.
Below we have a video of a flying saucer Chinchilla wheel so you can see exactly how a Chinchilla uses this to run and exercise:
Metal Chinchilla Wheels
At the Chinchilla Cage Shop we recommend Chinchilla wheels made out of metal. This is because these are strong and sturdy and also easy to clean because you can easily wipe them down with a cloth in case the Chinchilla has urinated on it. Some people buy the plastic wheels but of course they are not as strong and will not last as long as a metallic one.
How Much Do Chinchilla Wheels Cost?
Bear in mind this is an important part of your Chinchilla cages equipment.
You must not just buy the cheapest Chinchilla wheels that are available from pet Chinchilla stores and pet shops because they tend to break quickly and you end up spending more in the long term on exercise wheels.
Just imagine the hard use and hammering that your Chinchilla is going to give the wheel, it will be the most used cage accessory you will buy so it is worth spending as much as you can afford to.
Many Chinchilla exercise wheels cost over $50. Make sure you get the largest size you can buy as your Chinchilla may still be growing bigger, the biggest Chinchilla wheels are in the 16 inch diameter size range.
Chinchilla Wheel and Safety
To begin with you should move any other cage items such as toys and accessories away from the exercise wheel. This is because many Chinchilla wheels are flat such as the Chinchilla Flying Saucer Wheel and in this case they are likely to go flying off the wheel the first few attempts until gradually the Chinchilla gets the hang of it and it becomes natural instinct.
Chinchilla Exercise Wheels Page Summary
In order for you to care for your pet Chinchilla, you must fit out your cage with things for your Chinchilla to do. An essential Chinchilla cage accessory is a wheel, also known as an exercise wheel, in which he can move freely and run on.
Having this exercise will make your Chinchilla physically healthy and emotionally happier. This means you will get more love and attention from your Chinchilla when it comes to take him out of the Chinchilla cage for his regular ‘normal’ exercise and playtime.